Tools of the trade: Grooved Director

tongue retractor

by Dr Donny Mandrawa, Myofocus, North Melbourne, VIC

I use a Grooved Director during frenotomies—a release procedure of tongue restriction that I perform with a laser. 

What’s good about it

By positioning this tool correctly, it isolates the restrictive lingual frenum from the rest of the tongue. The Grooved Director not only holds the tongue back but protects it as well. Most patients are given local anaesthetic prior to the procedure so they don’t feel anything and have no issue with their tongue being retracted.

The instrument does not go anywhere near the back of the mouth so it works well with people who have a heightened gag reflex. It’s positioned underneath the tongue.

The Grooved Director is made of stainless steel and autoclaveable. When performing the procedure, I hold it with my left hand and use the laser with my right. My assistant looks after the bite block and high-pressure suction in the mouth.


I have performed many frenotomies on patients of all ages. Myofocus, my practice in North Melbourne, is dedicated to managing the muscle functions of the mouth and face.

What’s not so good

The Grooved Director comes in three different sizes but they could all do with a slightly better design. For older children and adults, they need to be a little wider to retract and protect more surface area of the tongue. For younger patients, they could be slightly narrower with a shorter handle for enhanced positioning.

Where did you get it

Surgical Instruments

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